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Summer Hiking Destinations- Chamonix, Aosta, Zell Am See, Saas Fee?

Summer Hiking Destinations- Chamonix, Aosta, Zell Am See, Saas Fee?

Old Dec 31st, 2022, 05:21 AM
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Summer Hiking Destinations- Chamonix, Aosta, Zell Am See, Saas Fee?

We are a family with 2 kids (5 and 8) looking to choose destinations for our mid June - July european summer holiday. Last year our Alps destinations were Chamonix and Wengen. I loved Chamonix - great infrastructure, decent food (a lot of options), a lively town, everything you need (for example I needed a pharmacy and had to go all the way to Interlaken). The hiking in both was spectacular and ok for our agile children, a bit better in Wengen and appreciated the amazing Swiss infrastructure and playgrounds. That said, I don't want to return to Wengen/Lauterbrunnen this summer so I wanted to get recommendations for similar destinations, knowing nothing will match the beauty of the Lauterbrunnen region.
I'm considering returning to Chamonix but would it make sense to stay on the Courmeyer side this time? I know it's quite a bit quieter than Chamonix but would give us new hiking options.
We love seeing snow covered peaks in the summer and for that reason the Dolomites aren't as appealing but still on our list.
Any thoughts on hiking/alpine areas in Austria?
I'm told Zermatt is the only place close enough to Wengen but it seems too long to get to, and built up. Not sure about Eastern Switzerland.
This will fit into a larger trip starting (likely) in Croatia, stopping at some point in Cinque Terre and Tuscany and hopefully ending in Northern Spain. Maybe the Pyrenees make sense? But no snow.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2023, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by tansmets
This will fit into a larger trip starting (likely) in Croatia, stopping at some point in Cinque Terre and Tuscany and hopefully ending in Northern Spain. Maybe the Pyrenees make sense? But no snow.
Are you doing the whole thing described here in one trip? And are renting a car and driving? If that is the case, I would suggest the Dolomites. That would fit in to your itinerart between Croatia and Tuscany. Maybe not as spectacular as Berner Oberland or Chamonix, but still a great area for hiking and activities. Staying in Alta Badia or somewhere around there.
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Old Jan 4th, 2023, 03:00 AM
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Due to climate change, not only are you likely to see much less snow, but also a lot of paths have been closed in recent times due to huge numbers of rock falls caused by thawing. Be sure to check all of the latest information for any specific destination.
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Old Jan 4th, 2023, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by OlavE
Are you doing the whole thing described here in one trip? And are renting a car and driving? If that is the case, I would suggest the Dolomites. That would fit in to your itinerart between Croatia and Tuscany. Maybe not as spectacular as Berner Oberland or Chamonix, but still a great area for hiking and activities. Staying in Alta Badia or somewhere around there.
Yes, a 5-6 week trip, we did something like this last summer so I am familiar with the travel times. Thanks a lot of people have recommended the Dolomites!
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Old Jan 4th, 2023, 07:45 AM
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How will you travel?
I think that it would cost a fortune to rent a car in Croatia and to get rid of it in Spain.
Croatia - Tuscany: passengers and car ferry Split/Zadar - Ancona or all around the Adiriatic Sea (Rijeka - Trieste - Venice - Ferrara - Bologna - Florence?

If you plan to visit 5Terre and to go then to Spain, Courmayeur and the whole Aosta Valley (from Breuil you could cross to Zermatt by gondola) might be the logistically most easy solution..
Courmayeur has much less gondolas to panoramic hiking trails than Chamonix. No walks like Planpraz - Flegere. or Plan de l'Aiguille - Montenvers, but more (sometimes strenuous) up and down hikes, for example from Col Checrouit gondola station to Notre Dame de la Visaille bus station. By far the best hiking trails in the greater area are around Zermatt and (often understated) Saas Grund/Saas Fee.
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Old Jan 5th, 2023, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by neckervd
How will you travel?
I think that it would cost a fortune to rent a car in Croatia and to get rid of it in Spain.
Croatia - Tuscany: passengers and car ferry Split/Zadar - Ancona or all around the Adiriatic Sea (Rijeka - Trieste - Venice - Ferrara - Bologna - Florence?

If you plan to visit 5Terre and to go then to Spain, Courmayeur and the whole Aosta Valley (from Breuil you could cross to Zermatt by gondola) might be the logistically most easy solution..
Courmayeur has much less gondolas to panoramic hiking trails than Chamonix. No walks like Planpraz - Flegere. or Plan de l'Aiguille - Montenvers, but more (sometimes strenuous) up and down hikes, for example from Col Checrouit gondola station to Notre Dame de la Visaille bus station. By far the best hiking trails in the greater area are around Zermatt and (often understated) Saas Grund/Saas Fee.
Thank you, this is helpful. I'd drive Croatia to Italy and then return the car and then fly (volotea) to Spain. Maybe it makes sense to skip Spain on this trip but I really want to go to San Sebastian.

Thanks for your notes on Courmayeur, maybe it makes sense for us to base ourselves in Chamonix again (spent a week there last July along with a week in Wengen) as we have small children, or just do a day trip to Courmayeur. We did the Planpraz to Flegere walk and it was perfect along with some good hikes in Jungfrau but I think they were strenuous enough for my kids though they will be a year older this time around.

Zermatt was on my original list for this summer but I was turned off by many reports of it being overly built up and not having as good of views (excluding the Matterhorn) as the Lauterbrunnen valley. Lauterbrunnen was amazing, we had clear weather most days, go to go to Eigergletcher twice and did every cable car and train I think included in our pass. I'd like to go back but not this summer. I am not familiar with Saas Fee so I will check it out, thank you!
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Old Jan 5th, 2023, 07:11 AM
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Family mountain destinations

Hello,

Italian Dolomiti are spectacular, and the Trentino-Sud Tyrol region very family oriented, with many excellent family hotels.

Another top mountain destination for families would be Serfaus in Austria, where they developed huge and creative playgrounds in the mountains.
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Old Jan 5th, 2023, 08:44 AM
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"Zermatt was on my original list for this summer but I was turned off by many reports of it being overly built up and not having as good of views (excluding the Matterhorn) as the Lauterbrunnen valley."
For me (as a Swiss citizen who knows perfectly all these areas) a sentence like this looks like a joke!
But what about Riederalp or Bettmeralp (Aetsch glacier area). It's a Swiss family dstination with many easy hikes and breathtaking views.


Aletsch Glacier, a few metres from one of the 3 places that you can reach by gondola
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Old Mar 27th, 2023, 05:21 AM
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If you did Chamonix and really enjoyed it then I would recommend having a look at the valleys before Chamonix. There are amazing places to explore around Les Contamines-Montjoie, the Grand Bornand and around Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval. Many of these will still have spectacular views of Mont Blanc
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Old Mar 27th, 2023, 11:54 AM
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I don't know where there is snow in the summer, maybe we had it at Oeschinensee in Switzerland, but it's close to Lauterbrunnen.
I think you should rethink the idea of the Dolomites, it's the best in summer, just a wonderful place. And sometimes there is snow in summer (maybe less this year because of the little snow).
By the way, I recommend Zell am See and Kaprun, the lakes above in Kaprun are beautiful. In the background is the Grossglockner, Austria's highest peak, usually snow-capped.
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